This is opening weekend at Patio Bar & Pizza, a sweet new spot for drinks and noshing at the gateway of Fort Lauderdale’s Progresso neighborhood.
The 2,500-square-foot restaurant and its remodeled terrace are located at the historic Progresso Plaza building, nearly 100 years old, a rare feat in South Florida. The ground-floor space in the iconic wedge-shaped building, best known as home to bar Laser Wolf, underwent a thorough renovation by owner Brian Parenteau and looks remarkable inside and out.
On the north side of the Brightline tracks, facing Flagler Village and downtown, Progresso and its collection of industrial spaces and warehouses are touted as a future destination for artists and other creatives in the area.
“Progresso is an up-and-coming neighborhood, culturally a little more diverse,” says Parenteau, who opened DrYnk Bar & Lounge and Tulio’s Tacos and Tequila Bar in Wilton Manors. “This will be a place where artists will come, bands will come.”
But Parenteau’s opening weekend comes with sad irony: Sunday marks the deadline for the last tenants of FAT Village, just across the tracks — the city’s original creative destination — to vacate before bulldozers clear the land for a massive commercial and residential project.
Looking across the tracks from his new patio this week, Parenteau acknowledged the tricky balancing act. The bell may toll for him some day.
“They’re expanding like crazy, but I think that’s only going to be better for us in the long run,” he said. “We built this thinking that we’d be here a long time. This building has been here 100 years, and hopefully we’re here a long time as well.”
For more information, visit PatioBarPizza.com.
Free beach party: Lauderdale-by-the-Sea’s 10th annual BugFest lobster mini-season festivities culminate with the free Scuba4Good Music Festivalon the sand by the Backflip Bar at Plunge Beach Resort, set for4 to 9 p.m. Friday. More than a half-dozen performers are scheduled, led by dashing Mark Zaden in front of The Weedline Band. Bring your own chairs and blankets, look for food and drink for purchase, and buy the T-shirt and a few raffle tickets. The festival is a major fundraiser for the local adaptive-diving community, which introduces people with various disabilities to scuba diving. Visit DiscoverLBTS.com/bugfest.
Weekend movies: This is the final weekend at Coral Gables Art Cinema for the documentary “Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song,” an exploration of his influential music and wry genius — drawn from a trove of never-before-seen, Cohen-approved archival materials — along with testimony from artists for whom “Hallelujah” has become a personal touchstone (from Bob Dylan, John Cale and Jeff Buckley to Brandi Carlile, Glen Hansard and Eric Church). The film runs Friday through Aug. 4. Tickets: $12.75; $11 for seniors, students and military. Visit GablesCinema.com.
Real as it gets: South Florida’s army of Queen fans will rally for a free concert by tribute band Absolute Queen at 8 p.m. Friday at Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton. Visit MiznerAmp.com. … Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale continues its summer series of tribute bands with Best of Both Worlds — Van Halen Tribute with Diary of an Ozzman (Ozzy Osbourne), starting at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $16+. Visit JoinTheRevolution.net.
Weekend DJs: Supergroup Swedish House Mafia will begin its reunion tour, celebrating the new studio album “Paradise Again,” at 8 p.m. Friday at FTX Arena in Miami. Tickets start at $25 at Ticketmaster.com. The trio (Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso) will host an after-party at Story on Miami Beach (ladies $60, guys $75). On Saturday, Story has French Montana ($55+). Visit StoryMiami.com. … Florida-spawned favorites Rabbit in the Moon leads a long list of DJ acts taking over Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale at 8 p.m. Saturday ($60+). Visit JoinTheRevolution.net.
Sights and sounds: The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami will host the engaging Vincent Raffard and The French Horn Collective at 8 p.m. Friday as part of its free Jazz at MOCA concert series on the front plaza. The evening will begin with an unveil of a new outdoor sculptural installation, “Clint and April,” by West Palm Beach native Autumn Casey. Casey will speak about her work beginning at 6 p.m. Visit MoCANoMi.org.
Here’s to beers: LauderAle Brewery & Tap Room will celebrate eight years of small-batch beer-making in a remote corner of Fort Lauderdale with Friday-Sunday festivities that include hourly beer releases, live music, food trucks, games and new merchandise. Visit LauderAle.co.
Sandy Friday: South Florida’s best sports star, Sandy Alcantara, is scheduled to start for the Miami Marlins against the polarizing New York Mets at 6:40 p.m. Friday. What more need be said? Tickets start at $24 at Marlins.com.
Weekend brunch*: Bar 25 in downtown Delray Beach is a relatively new, 5,000-square-foot gastropub just off Atlantic helmed by executive chef Walter Pytel, a Culinary Institute of America graduate who came to the kitchen after 12 years at Fort Lauderdale’s award-winning Cafe Martorano. They recently began offering brunch — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays through Sundays — and I don’t know that any words I provide would be better than a survey of their Instagram. There is a beautiful Steak & Eggs flatbread ($27), the equally attractive Veggie Frittata ($19) and a Bananas Foster French Toast ($18), plus bottomless mimosas and Bloodys ($17).
*Right here I need to shout out another item, from the non-brunch menu. They call it a Chocolate Chip Brownie (served with housemade Oreo ice cream and chocolate ganache; $14), but I see a Chicago-style skillet cookie, something I spend an embarrassing amount of time searching for in South Florida.
Get a roundup of the best events and things to do in South Florida so you can make it an epic weekend.
Now and then: NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale on Saturday debuts the exhibit “History in the Making: Andy Warhol’s ‘Mao’ Prints and William Gropper’s ‘Watergate Series,’” pegged to the 50th anniversary of Nixon’s visit to China and the infamous break-in on the president’s behalf. The works are drawn exclusively from the museum’s collection. In his irreverent portrait of a lipsticked Mao, Warhol repurposes the image of the ruthless Chinese leader who packaged himself as a man of the people, while Gropper’s cartoons are a reminder that lazy old blowhards have a long tradition in Congress. Visit NSUArtMuseum.org.
More tribute: Mathews Brewing Co. in Lake Worth Beach on Saturday will kick off a series of free concerts by local tribute bands. The schedule: Smokin’/Renegade (Boston/Styx), 8 p.m. Saturday; Touch & Go (Cars), 8 p.m. Aug. 6; 46 & Tool (Tool), 7 p.m. Aug. 13; Products of Rage (Rage Against the Machine), 8 p.m. Aug 13. Visit Facebook.com/mathewsbrewing.
Bandshell game: Speaking of rebranding, the North Beach Bandshell has changed its name to Miami Beach Bandshell, at once more specific and less romantic. But its intelligent and varied taste in music remains. The schedule includes Saturday’s 7 p.m. finale of Miami Girls Rock Camp ($15), an entertaining and empowering display of courage, as well as evocative, Grammy-nominated Colombian duo Monsieur Periné (Aug. 13), electroclash icon Peaches (Aug. 30) and Matisyahu (Sept. 10). Visit NorthBeachBandshell.com.
Hall & friends: Daryl Hall and the Daryl’s House Band (from the culty TV show “Live From Daryl’s House”) perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, aided by special guest Todd Rundgren. Tickets start at $60. Visit MyHRL.com. … You can get a head start on the show Saturday night when two members of Hall’s band (and Hall & Oates), Eliot Lewis and Brian Dunne, perform at 7 p.m. at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton. Tickets start at $20 at FunkyBiscuit.com.
Insane in the brain: The ArtsPark in downtown Hollywood has been booked with an interesting double bill on Oct. 7: hip-hop icons Cypress Hill and stoner-rock veterans 311. Love me some Cypress Hill. The ArtsPark stage has frequently been home to free concerts by big names, but this is not that. Part of what its local producers, Legends at Arts, describe as a series of “curated nostalgia with the very best in 90s throwback artists,” tickets for Cypress Hill/311 cost $60 for general admission and $200 for VIP at LegendsAtArts.com.